Disney items are one of the most frequently used and retailed products in the world. Many companies gain licenses to be able to use Disney images (like Elsa from Frozen) to brand their products to make use of the surging popularity of Disney movies.
We as a sourcing agency have many clients who are licensees for Disney branded products. The most popular products we source are therefore Disney branded products or products, which contain intellectual property of Disney. These may be for example a Frozen themed Notebook, or Disney Princesses themed Stickers, so basically anything which has an image on it, created by Disney.
As a result, it is our obligation to make sure that we choose manufacturers, which comply with Disney regulations. These regulations concern not only the products itself but also the factory environment and employee treatment.
1 – Minimum Compliance Standard (MCS)
When sourcing Disney branded products, or products which contain Disney intellectual property, we, as the sourcing agency, must choose factories which are Disney approved, meaning they have to adhere to certain standards set by Disney, called Minimum Compliance Standard(s) or MCSs. These standards are, according to Disney, consistent with the International Labour Organisation’s Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The factories have to demonstrate that there is no presence of child labour, coercion or harassment, discrimination, involuntary labour, health and safety concerns, unauthorised subcontracting etc. If the factories fail to adhere to these standards then we cannot use them as manufacturer for our sourced products.
2 – Disney Approved Factories acceptance
Working together with clients who posses a Disney licence and distribute goods which have Disney intellectual property requires us, in the role of the so called ‘vendor’, to provide certain documents and conduct testing in laboratories for some of the products we source. This is why, for example, sometimes we are required to submit a Facility and Merchandise Authorization (“FAMA”) Application to our client, who then forwards this form to Disney. With the help of this form Disney can determine whether the factory we chose complies with their regulations. After receiving authorization from Disney, the manufacturing of the products is usually good to go.
3 – Third Party Testing
Certain products do not only require the authorization of the factory but also third party testing at a testing laboratory. This process involves sending samples from the manufacturer to the testing laboratory where they undergo a bunch of different tests, for example tests concerning flammability, sound tests, tests to determine if there are any toxic compounds, etc. To be able to source the products successfully, we as the vendor MUST (and always will) ensure that the product complies with and passes all testing requirements. If there are any problems or requirements, which the product has failed to pass, we must see to it, that the factory does everything in its power to modify faults and get the product samples to pass.
Because the testing is usually conducted in the later stages of the production, the factory has to pay careful attention to manufacturing the products and we need to be sure that there will be no failures with substances which might jeopardize the whole order for our client. To avoid scenarios like this we exclusively work with companies, which we are sure, are able to comply with Disney testing requirements.
4 – Advantages of Disney Approved Factories
Although complying with the standards and testing requirements of Disney might take a lot of time and effort for both us the factory and the client, it is only to the benefit of the factory workers and the children. Many of the products we source go on magazines as cover mounts and end up in children’s hands. By working together with Disney approved factories we can ensure that harmful substances will not affect children as the product usually underwent some form of testing beforehand. Our clients can be sure that the factory workers are treated and compensated fairly for their work and are not exploited or mistreated. Even end customers, which might be curious about the origin of their product, can be assured that if it was produced in a Disney approved factory and sourced by us it complies with all EU health and safety regulations as they are also part of Disney testing requirements.
When working with Disney approved factories we will do our best to ensure that everything is in accordance with the regulations, one thing less for the client to worry about. If you would like to know more about the process of manufacturing with Disney approved factories, visit out website http://www.sourcingok.com.